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Archer, C. et al. (2015) Measuring the Quality of Movement-Play in Early Childhood Education Settings: Linking Movement-Play and Neuroscience (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This article explores the links between neuroscience research, movement, and neurological dysfunction in relation to young children's learning and development. While policymakers have recognised the importance of early development the role of movement has been overlooked. A small scale study was undertaken in four early years settings in a London Borough in order to investigate whether an intervention resulted in improved movement experiences for children. This is the first study to assess the quality of movement-play using a newly developed measuring scale. Results showed that an intervention does result in improved movement experiences for young children. Consistently enhanced results were found in relation to the vital role of the adult at the two intervention settings. For Vygotsky the adult role is critical to the quality of play and learning for the child (Siraj-Blatchford 2009). There is scope for a larger scale piece of research spread across different sectors in order to further test the validity and reliability of the scale.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Volume:
23
Page/s:
21-42
Synonyms:
  • Physical play
  • Play assessment
  • Rough and tumble
  • Teacher/caregiver play

Aureli, T. et al. (2015) Behavioral and facial thermal variations in 3-to 4-month-old infants during the Still-Face Paradigm (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Behavioral and facial thermal responses were recorded in twelve 3- to 4-month-old infants during the Still-Face Paradigm (SFP). As in the usual procedure, infants were observed in a three-step, face-to-face interaction: a normal interaction episode (3 min); the "still-face" episode in which the mother became unresponsive and assumed a neutral expression (1 min); a reunion episode in which the mother resumed the interaction (3 min). A fourth step that consisted of a toy play episode (5 min) was added for our own research interest. We coded the behavioral responses through the Infant and Caregiver Engagement Phases system, and recorded facial skin temperature via thermal infrared (IR) imaging. Comparing still-face episode to play episode, the infants' communicative engagement decreased, their engagement with the environment increased, and no differences emerged in self-regulatory and protest behaviors. We also found that facial skin temperature increased. For the behavioral results, infants recognized the interruption of the interactional reciprocity caused by the still-face presentation, without showing upset behaviors. According to autonomic results, the parasympathetic system was more active than the sympathetic, as usually happens in aroused but not distressed situations. With respect to the debate about the causal factor of the still-face effect, thermal data were consistent with behavioral data in showing this effect as related to the infants' expectations of the nature of the social interactions being violated. Moreover, as these are associated to the infants' subsequent interest in the environment, they indicate the thermal IR imaging as a reliable technique for the detection of physiological variations not only in the emotional system, as indicated by research to date, but also in the attention system. Using this technique for the first time during the SFP allowed us to record autonomic data in a more ecological manner than in previous studies.

Date:
January 2015
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
6
Page/s:
1586
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Play with Mother
  • Self-regulation
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Bergen, D. (2009) Play and Brain Development as Complementary Non Lonear Dynamic (Chaotic / Complex) Systems (Conference Paper)

Bernier, A. et al. (2010) From External Regulation to Self-Regulation: Early Parenting Precursors of Young Children’s Executive Functioning (Journal Article)

Abstract:

In keeping with proposals emphasizing the role of early experience in infant brain development, this study investigated the prospective links between quality of parent–infant interactions and subsequent child executive functioning (EF), including working memory, impulse control, and set shifting. Maternal sensitivity, mind-mindedness and autonomy support were assessed when children were 12 to 15 months old (N = 80). Child EF was assessed at 18 and 26 months. All three parenting dimensions were found to relate to child EF. Autonomy support was the strongest predictor of EF at each age, independent of general cognitive ability and maternal education. These findings add to previous results on child stress-response systems in suggesting that parent–child relationships may play an important role in children’s developing self-regulatory capacities.

Date:
January 2010
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
81
Page/s:
326-339
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Longitudinal
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Play with other adult
  • Self-regulation
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Blair, C. (2002) Early intervention for low birth weight, preterm infants: The role of negative emotionality in the specification of effects (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study examined the relation of negative emotionality in infancy to child social and cognitive developmental outcomes among low birth weight (LBW) preterm infants participating in the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP), a comprehensive compensatory education intervention beginning in infancy and lasting through age 3 years. In this analysis, intervention effects at age 36 months on maternal report of child behavior as assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist externalizing and internalizing scales and on intelligence as measured by the Stanford–Binet scale were largest among children characterized by higher levels of negative emotionality in infancy. Findings indicate that for LBW preterm infants characterized by negative emotionality at age 12 months the intervention was associated with a twofold decrease in the occurrence of clinically meaningful levels of behavior problems at age 3 years and a fourfold decrease in the occurrence of a high-risk profile in which both internalizing and externalizing scores are in the clinically meaningful range. The intervention was also associated with a fivefold decrease in the occurrence of IQ ≤ 75 at age 3 years among children with higher levels of negative emotionality and heavier LBW (2001–2500 g). However, specific aspects of temperamental difficulty such as fearfulness and anger were related to internalizing and externalizing, respectively, in both the intervention and control groups. Findings are consistent with research linking negative emotionality in infancy with social and cognitive developmental outcomes in early childhood among normal birth weight infants. Results suggest the need for further attention to child temperament in early intervention research.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2002
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
14
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Affective behaviour
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Experimental
  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Self-regulation
  • Social-emotional
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Brooker, L. et al. (2014) SAGE Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood (Book)

Abstract:

'This Handbook offers diverse perspectives from scholars across the globe who help us see play in new ways. At the same time the basic nature of play gives a context for us to learn new theoretical frameworks and methods. A real gem!'
- Beth Graue, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, USA

Play and learning scholarship has developed considerably over the last decade, as has the recognition of its importance to children’s learning and development.

Containing chapters from highly respected researchers, whose work has been critical to building knowledge and expertise in the field, this Handbook focuses on examining historical, current and future research issues in play and learning scholarship.

Organized into three sections which consider:

theoretical and philosophical perspectives on play and learning
play in pedagogy, curriculum and assessment
play contexts.

The Handbook's breadth, clarity and rigor will make it essential reading for researchers and postgraduate students, as well as professionals with interest in this dynamic and changing field.

Liz Brooker is Reader in Early Childhood in the Faculty of Children and Learning at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Mindy Blaise is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Early Childhood Education at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Susan Edwards is Associate Professor in Curriculum and Pedagogy at Australian Catholic University.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Cultural context
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Digital play
  • Learning
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical play
  • Play assessment
  • Playful learning
  • Playfulness
  • Playground
  • Pretend play

DeLoache, J. et al. (1985) The Development of Error Correction Strategies in Young Children's Manipulative Play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The focus of this study was the strategies used by young children between 18 and 42 months for correcting the errors they made as they attempted to nest a set of 5 seriated cups. In the process of combining the cups, the children committed numerous errors (such as putting a cup that was too large on a smaller cup), and they tried to correct the majority of those errors. Detailed examination of the children's correction attempts revealed that the strategies they used changed substantially with age, becoming increasingly more flexible and involving more extensive restructuring of the relations among the cups. Earlier correction attempts tended to focus on a single, nonfitting cup or on a single relation between 2 cups. Later-appearing strategies involved the coordination of relations involving several cups. The same trend toward increasing flexibility of thought and action also appeared in the procedures the children used to combine the cups. This study thus documents a finely graded series of cognitively significant changes in children's constructive activity during a period that has been poorly differentiated by cognitive developmental research. In so doing, it demonstrates the usefulness for problem-solving research of analyzing how subjects go about trying to rectify their own mistakes.

Date:
January 1985
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
56
Page/s:
928-939
Synonyms:
  • Cross-sectional
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Functional play
  • Object play
  • Problem-solving
Research discipline:

Erickson, S. et al. (2012) Differential ethnic associations between maternal flexibility and play sophistication in toddlers born very low birth weight (Journal Article)

Esseily, R. et al. (2016) Humour production may enhance observational learning of a new tool-use action in 18-month-old infants (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Many studies have shown that making children laugh enhances certain cognitive capacities such as attention, motivation, perception and/or memory, which in turn enhance learning. However, no study thus far has investigated whether laughing has an effect on learning earlier in infancy. The goal of this study was to see whether using humour with young infants in a demonstration of a complex tool-use task can enhance their learning. Fifty-three 18-month-old infants participated in this study and were included either in a humorous or a control demonstration group. In both groups infants observed an adult using a tool to retrieve an out-of-reach toy. What differed between groups was that in the humorous demonstration group, instead of playing with the toy, the adult threw it on the floor immediately after retrieval. The results show that infants who laughed at the demonstration in the humorous demonstration group reproduced significantly more frequent target actions than infants who did not laugh and those in the control group. This effect is discussed with regard to individual differences in terms of temperament and social capacities as well as positive emotion and dopamine release.

Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
30
Page/s:
817-825
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Humour
  • Learning
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Fawcett, C. et al. (2012) Mimicry and play initiation in 18-month-old infants (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Across two experiments, we examined the relationship between 18-month-old infants' mimicry and social behavior - particularly invitations to play with an adult play partner. In Experiment 1, we manipulated whether an adult mimicked the infant's play or not during an initial play phase. We found that infants who had been mimicked were subsequently more likely to invite the adult to join their play with a new toy. In addition, they reenacted marginally more steps from a social learning demonstration she gave. In Experiment 2, infants had the chance to spontaneously mimic the adult during the play phase. Complementing Experiment 1, those infants who spent more time mimicking the adult were more likely to invite her to play with a new toy. This effect was specific to play and not apparent in other communicative acts, such as directing the adult's attention to an event or requesting toys. Together, the results suggest that infants use mimicry as a tool to establish social connections with others and that mimicry has specific influences on social behaviors related to initiating subsequent joint interactions.

Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
35
Page/s:
689-696
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Experimental
  • Object play
  • Play with other adult
  • Social cognition
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: